Choosing a New Dog
on November 26, 2011
Posted in Dogs
Are you thinking of getting a new puppy for the family? I am often asked what breed of dog would be the best. Well that depends on the situation. When I am asked I always ask a few questions: Do you want a long or short haired dog? Is your family very active and you want an active dog? Do you want a large or small breed, knowing that large breed dogs have greater exercise requirements? Do you have small children or are you planning to have children? Are you sure you want a puppy or would you take an already trained adult dog? All of these things can affect the breed of dog that you want and if you will take an adult dog, please adopt one from your local Humane Society or ASPCA as there are many great dogs there looking for a forever home. But here is a list of the dog breeds I think are best under different circumstances.
Families that want a large breed dog–a labrador retriever, a golden retriever, a labradoodle or golden doodle. All these dogs have great personalities and are good with kids. If your family is also active consider a Standard Poodle as they are wonderful pets, good with kids and don’t shed–but they are active dogs. The advantage of the labradoodle or golden doodle ( which are labrador or golden retrievers crossed with Standard Poodles) is there should be “hybrid vigor” which means they should be healthier.
Families that want a small breed dog–beagles and pugs are good if you have children as they are tough enough to stand up to kids but have great personalities. Recently they have been mixing these to get “Puggles” which are also cute. Miniature poodles or poodle/Schnauzer crosses are good if you have an active family as these dogs need more activity–but they do not shed and many people who have allergies are not allergic to these dogs.
If you want a dog with a great personality but not very active, bulldogs are a good choice, but beware they have a lot of health problems. Unless you have a lot of time for training and activity stay away from very active dogs like Border Collies and Jack Russell Terriers–they can be wonderful dogs but do require a lot of exercise.
If you are still not sure after this, go down to the Humane society and “interview” potential candidates. The dog’s personality is really what counts and if you really need to know his or her exact parentage, you can always get a DNA test!
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan